Backcountry Trek to Machu Pichhu - 5 days
From Cusco drive north across Antapampa into the Apurimac watershed. Mollepata is the starting point of our five day trek across the Cordillera Vilcabamba, past Mt. Humantay and Salkantay into the headwaters of the Santa Teresa valley. Hiking down this cloud – forest area we ascend to the Pass of Paltallacta in whose vicinity we camp. Great views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective.
Hike into the Aobamba Valley and arrive near the hydroelectric works, down – river from the citadel, board the train to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. Next morning we will visit Machu Picchu ruins before heading back to Cusco.
From US$ 1157.00
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 CUSCO / MOLLEPATA / SORAYPAMPA / SALKANTAYPAMPA
Drive over Tika-Tika pass with a first view of Mt. Salkantay and Humantay in the horizon. Cross the plateau of Anta (Antapampa), an area that\'s considered the breadbasket of Cusco, important for grains and cattle. We reach the pass of Limatambo with an amazing view of both mountains and the panorama of the lush agricultural valley below. We visit the ruins of Tarawasi with its long asymmetric Inca stone wall. Continue on the paved road for a short while and turn off on a winding road which zig-zags uphill until reaching Mollepata at 2,900m (9,454 ft). We continue on a narrower track for another hour passing Cruzpata, Oncopata and Checchicancha getting our first view of Mt. Humantay close up, with a view of Mt. Yanantay. The last part of the track brings us to 3,900 m (12,815 ft) at Soraypampa where there are small settlements of cattle herders. We continue up to the Pampa (esplanade) below Mt. Salkantay where we camp at 4,145 m (13,599 ft). (Trekking: 3 - 4 hours).
Day 2 SALKANTAYPAMPA / APACHETA / WAYRAHMACHAY / CHALLHUAY
Leaving our campsite we head towards the terminal moraine, from here the trail begins to ascend past boulders, reaching a scree slope which we traverse to reach Apacheta Pass at 4,636 m (15,210 ft), a great opportunity to look towards the other pass at Incachiriaska, into a small lake below Mt. Salkanty’s ice flute and the huge expanse of the moraine. The trail winds its way through the landscape downhill towards a large pampa called Wayrahmachay (3,919 m / 12,858 ft). We begin our descent all the way to the Sta. Teresa River and arrive at our campsite in Chayhuay (2,950m / 9,678 ft). (Trekking: 8 hours, Distance: 12 kms).
Day 3 CHALLHUAY / WIÑAY POQO/ LUCMABAMBA
We walk down towards the headwaters of the Santa Teresa Valley where the trail slowly borders the valley and the vegetation changes from cloud forest into small plots of farmers growing coffee and tropical fruits upon reaching the meadow of Wiñay Poqo. We continue our descent along the St Teresa Valley, passing by San Ignacio, and the road junction at Playa at an attitude of 2,135m/ 7,002ft. We cross the river and reach Lucmabamba (2,048 m / 6,719 ft) where we camp for the night. (Trekking for 8hrs over a distance of 11kms)
Day 4 LUCMABAMBA / PALTALLACTA / HIDROELECTRICA / MACHU PICCHU
Today we begin our ascent to the pass of Q’elloqasa at an attitude of 2,875m/9,430ft. Traversing dense cloud forest with a chance to hear bird calls, we pass a pre-Inca site, surrounded by an immense avocado tree that gives the area its name. From here we get a magnificent view of Machu Picchu of its southern face. We continue our descent to the junction of the Aobamba and Urubamba valleys and arrive at the Hydroelectric station, from where we will take a short train ride to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night at a local hotel, dinner on your own. (Trekking: 7 hours Distance: 10 kms)
Day 5 MACHU PICCHU / CUSCO
This day you can explore Aguas Calientes at leisure or take an optional guided tour to the famous citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu, perched above the Urubamba River gorge in the heart of the Sanctuary. Optional hikes to the sun-gate (Intipunku) or Wayna Picchu, the hill overlooking the saddle where the site is located. Afternoon train ride to Cusco, arrival and transfer to your hotel.
***End of the tour***
SERVICES INCLUDED: Transportation by vehicle to start and from the end of trek to your city of departure, two-man tents including sleeping pads, pack animals, kitchen crew and commissary gear with all meals included during the trek as well as a bilingual guide on the trek, who will handle the first aid kit. Also includes 1 night at Lima, 3 nights at Cusco and Augus Calantes.
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Mollepata Entrance fee (US$45 aprox), guided tour of Machu Picchu, hotels in Cusco, hotel in Aguas Calientes, lunch and dinner in the cities and villages, alcoholic beverages, extras, tips, laundry service, additional tours, insurance and airline tickets (where applicable), sleeping bags, hiking boots and other personal gear.